Ian Buruma: Deng Xiaoping’s Victory https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/tiananmen-square-massacre-pioneered-illiberal-democracy-by-ian-buruma-2019-06: 'China never looked back (literally as well as figuratively, because the events of June 3-4 are unmentionable). The economy soon steamed ahead. And the educated urban classes, from which most of the student protesters in 1989 sprang, benefited enormously.... Stay out of politics, don’t question the authority of the one-party state, and we’ll create the conditions for you to get rich.... Even educated young Chinese now have little or no knowledge of what happened 30 years ago.... In 2001, a year after Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia, I traveled from Beijing to Moscow and wrote an article comparing Russia favorably to China. I assumed that Russia was well on its way to becoming an open democracy. I was wrong. In fact, Russia became more like Deng Xiaoping’s China, albeit a less successful version.... Something similar has happened in Central European countries. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has been most the most vociferous ideologue of “illiberal democracy,” a system of oppressive one-party rule in which capitalism can still thrive. It looks as if the right-wing populist demagogues of Western Europe, and even the US, would like to follow this example. Like Donald Trump, they are all more or less unreserved admirers of Putin. Of course, this was not the way it was supposed to happen.... China was not an outlier in 1989 at all. Illiberal capitalism has since emerged as an attractive model to autocrats all over the world, including in countries that succeeded in throwing off communist rule 30 years ago. The Chinese just got there first... #noted #2020-06-04
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